By TFN Staff

During these gut-wrenching times, it is easy — and understandable — to feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by an ongoing global pandemic that is extracting a disproportionately high toll on the health and incomes of communities of color. Overwhelmed by the wanton disregard for human life, captured in video after video. Overwhelmed by the recognition that safety nets — if they existed — have failed, social connections have frayed and corrosive abuses of power persist.

But we also have an opportunity — and an obligation — to chart new courses despite turbulent waters.

How do we help communities address and overcome the impacts of the novel coronavirus in ways that are urgent and equitable?

How can we help dismantle the systemic racism that touch every aspect of our lives, including the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places where we work and play?

And how do we use our privilege and power, as a sector and as individuals, to amplify calls for racial justice in ways that are meaningful, effective and authentic?

You are invited to contribute your ideas and insights as we craft a learning agenda for our 2021 conference, one that is dedicated to helping our members and partners gain the tools, build relationships and craft strategies that will help us stand together, work together — and ultimately rise together — to meet this unprecedented moment.

Call for Idea Submissions are due by Aug. 6.

Please take a look at our Submission Guidelines for more information. Ideas can be shared via our Online Submission Form.

We hope you’ll join us March 15 to 17 for TFN’s 2021 Annual Conference: Rise Together, tentatively scheduled for New Orleans, La. Read on for more information on our conference’s focus and coronavirus contingency planning.


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Centering Racial Equity


TFN’s mission is to leverage philanthropy’s unique potential to help create communities and regions that are sustainable, prosperous and just for all people. But we recognize that these goals cannot be achieved without first challenging and confronting the systemic imbalances in power, privilege and access to resources that disproportionately impact communities of color, specifically Black people, and create stark inequities that continue to harm racialized and marginalized people and places.

In keeping with our theme — Rise Together — we’re encouraging session ideas that are interdisciplinary, cross-cutting and grounded in racial equity.

We are taking a different approach this year through this Call for Ideas (instead of a formal Call for Session Proposals), by taking the pulse of our membership to understand what issues or challenges are top-of-mind for you.


About Our Conference

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TFN’s 2021 Annual Conference: Rise Together will bring together funders from across North America to explore the strategies and stories that are creating more equitable, sustainable, and resilient places to live — work that has taken on increased urgency as we face the dual challenges of a global pandemic and structural racism.

Our signature annual event is an opportunity to highlight philanthropy’s potential for meaningful impact in our regions and communities, and hear from diverse and thought-provoking voices on issues such as protecting our natural resources, building inclusive economies and addressing injustices.


COVID Contingencies

Given the uncertainties of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and our commitment to prioritizing the safety of our members, team and their communities, TFN will plan for both in-person and virtual conference options. By baking contingencies into our planning, we will be able to pivot to an online model if needed.

As described in the guidelines, we ask for your help and input in this new planning process through this Call for Ideas.

Our goal is to share the learning, resources and best practices that will help our members deepen their impact as grantmakers and develop their professional networks — be it in person or virtually.

We look forward to hearing from you!